Ambling into autumn at Staveley woodlands

Danielle Chalmers

There is definitely an Autumnal feel to the weather at the moment, with warm wet days followed by crisp, sunny, dry ones. All the leaves are turning to deep auburn and brown and slowly drifting off the trees.

There are a lot of Nuthatch around the woods at the moment, it’s a wonderful time of year to see them walking up and down the tree trunks.  It is also a really good time of year to listen to the tiny Goldcrest as it flits around the tree canopy. 

Part of our plan for Staveley Woodlands is to plant a woodland corridor between Craggy Wood and Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood. I kicked off September with a presentation in Staveley on how to gather local seeds and grow them on, in the hope that local people will help us grow the many local trees needed for the woodland corridor. 

This event was well attended, with everyone leaving with lots of information and a readiness to get out there and start growing.   With everyone involved we will soon have a tree nursery full of local trees to plant out at Staveley Woodlands.

Staveley Woodlands Tree Beginnings

Tree beginnings at Staveley Woodlands

Staveley Woodlands is a very special place for Lichens and Bryophytes. I attended a course this month ran by “PlantLife” to help me truly appreciate these lower plants and learn how to do Rapid Woodland Assessments.  These woodland assessments look at the woodlands ability to support diverse Lichen and Bryophyte communities. 

This was an amazing educational course and really opened my eyes to the lower woodland plant life that is sometimes lost amongst those larger plants and trees we are more used to looking for.  Since attending I have completed the Rapid Woodland assessments finding some really interesting Lichens and Bryophytes throughout all the varied compartments of land that make up Staveley Woodlands. 

Pixi Cup Lichen

Pixi Cup Lichen found in Dorothy Farrers Spring Wood

It has been National Red Squirrel Week during September, we kicked off the week with a well-attended walk around the woods learning about how we can all help save our Red Squirrels. 

We looked at signs of squirrels living in the woods, tree canopy levels and connection, and how we can help create and save woodland links for red squirrels to move through and into.  We are very lucky to have a small population of Red Squirrels close to Staveley Woodlands so it is important we keep helping them as much as possible. 

Squirrel Walk in Staveley Woodlands

Photo Credit: Anne Salsbury

We will have some more events and volunteer opportunities coming up soon in Staveley Woodlands, so please keep checking the website to find out how you can get involved in our future activities. 

Danielle Chalmers